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Title: Assessment and Control of Organic and Other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2

Abstract

Numerous potential sources of organic contaminants could have greatly complicated the interpretation of the organic portions of the samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft. Measures were taken to control and assess potential organic (and other) contaminants during the design, construction, and flight of the spacecraft, and during and after recovery of the sample return capsule. Studies of controls and the returned samples suggest that many of these potential sources did not contribute any significant material to the collectors. In particular, contamination from soils at the recovery site and materials associated with the ablation of the heatshield do not appear to be significant problems. The largest source of concern is associated with the C present in the original aerogel. The relative abundance of this carbon can vary between aerogel tiles and even within individual tiles. This C was fortunately not distributed among a complex mixture of organics, but was instead largely present in a few simple forms (mostly as Si-CH{sub 3} groups). In most cases, the signature of returned cometary organics can be readily distinguished from contaminants through their different compositions, nonterrestrial isotopic ratios, and/or association with other cometary materials. However, some conversion of the carbon indigenousmore » to the flight aerogel appears to have happened during particle impact, and some open issues remain regarding how this C may be processed into new forms during the hypervelocity impact collection of the comet dust.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) National Synchrotron Light Source
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - OFFICE OF SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1019961
Report Number(s):
BNL-95807-2011-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 1086-9379; TRN: US201115%%597
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-98CH10886
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Meteoritics and Planetary Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1086-9379
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ABLATION; ABUNDANCE; CARBON; COMETS; CONSTRUCTION; CONTAMINATION; DESIGN; MIXTURES; SOILS; DUSTS; national synchrotron light source

Citation Formats

Sanford, S, Bajt, S, Clemett, S, Cody, G, Cooper, G, Degregorio, B, DeVera, V, Dworkin, J, Elsila, J, and et al. Assessment and Control of Organic and Other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01031.x.
Sanford, S, Bajt, S, Clemett, S, Cody, G, Cooper, G, Degregorio, B, DeVera, V, Dworkin, J, Elsila, J, & et al. Assessment and Control of Organic and Other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2. United States. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01031.x.
Sanford, S, Bajt, S, Clemett, S, Cody, G, Cooper, G, Degregorio, B, DeVera, V, Dworkin, J, Elsila, J, and et al. Fri . "Assessment and Control of Organic and Other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2". United States. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01031.x.
@article{osti_1019961,
title = {Assessment and Control of Organic and Other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2},
author = {Sanford, S and Bajt, S and Clemett, S and Cody, G and Cooper, G and Degregorio, B and DeVera, V and Dworkin, J and Elsila, J and et al.},
abstractNote = {Numerous potential sources of organic contaminants could have greatly complicated the interpretation of the organic portions of the samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft. Measures were taken to control and assess potential organic (and other) contaminants during the design, construction, and flight of the spacecraft, and during and after recovery of the sample return capsule. Studies of controls and the returned samples suggest that many of these potential sources did not contribute any significant material to the collectors. In particular, contamination from soils at the recovery site and materials associated with the ablation of the heatshield do not appear to be significant problems. The largest source of concern is associated with the C present in the original aerogel. The relative abundance of this carbon can vary between aerogel tiles and even within individual tiles. This C was fortunately not distributed among a complex mixture of organics, but was instead largely present in a few simple forms (mostly as Si-CH{sub 3} groups). In most cases, the signature of returned cometary organics can be readily distinguished from contaminants through their different compositions, nonterrestrial isotopic ratios, and/or association with other cometary materials. However, some conversion of the carbon indigenous to the flight aerogel appears to have happened during particle impact, and some open issues remain regarding how this C may be processed into new forms during the hypervelocity impact collection of the comet dust.},
doi = {10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01031.x},
journal = {Meteoritics and Planetary Science},
issn = {1086-9379},
number = 3,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {1}
}